Building a successful high school football program takes time, and for Yukon, the Millers took another step in that direction recently when Yukon joined the Indian Nations Football Conference for its youth teams.
Representatives from the INFC came to Yukon this past winter to visit with Miller coach Jeremy Reed.
Reed said he liked what he heard from the INFC brass and decided to pursue getting Yukon to join the football league.
“There is a disconnect with youth sports and high school sports in all sports,” Reed said. “Joining INFC will help with that. We want our youth football program to be vertically aligned with our high school program. We want to establish a foundation early and build a culture.”
The INFC has divisions as young as first-grade but Reed said the Yukon coaches will be focused on the fourth-through sixth-grade teams.
“We just feel that is a good age to start learning our terminology and we will start working closely with the coaches on those teams,” Reed said. “We want to help them with their practice drills and make sure they are prepping for school ball in seventh-grade.”
Reed said one of the benefits of playing in the INFC will allow the youth teams to be governed and there will be rules and regulations that must be followed by each team.
No team is allowed to practice before Aug. 1 and there will be time limits on how long each team can practice. Every player will have to play a certain amount of meaningful plays each game.
The Yukon teams that are a part of the INFC will all be called Yukon Millers and wear the school colors. They will play their games on Saturdays with the home games played at Miller Stadium. They will practice on the grass practice field at the high school south of the Yukon Football Field House.
The majority of the other schools in the INFC are in the Tulsa area, but Yukon teams will only be required to travel to the Tulsa area for games twice a year.
Reed said another benefit will be playing east side schools from a young age.
“Right now, our players don’t face Tulsa area teams until their sophomore year in high school,” Reed said. “By that time, they have grown up hearing about Jenks, Union, Owasso and Broken Arrow and the ‘mystique’ surrounding those programs. Now, our players will grow up playing against those teams and when they get to the high school level, they will be more prepared.”
The Yukon High School players will be involved with the youth teams and players as well. The Adopt A Miller program that the high school players use will be incorporated with the youth teams and the Adopt A Mini-Miller will take place where a high school player mentors a youth player.
There will be preseason scrimmages for each youth team, a regular season and playoffs. If a team makes it to the championship game, they will play on Cox Cable statewide television.
The INFC uses high school referees.
“Our main goal is to align with coaches and families that see value of what we are trying to accomplish as a program,” Reed said. “I believe this will be the best for Yukon football for years to come and it will make our program better.”
In 2017, there were 44 teams that competed in the fourth-grade division, 48 teams in the fifth-grade division and 49 teams in the sixth-grade division.
Other than Yukon, Norman, Choctaw, Edmond and Westmoore are the other Oklahoma City area schools playing in the INFC.
In the INFC, each school has a boundary where they can get players. For Yukon, they are the only team in Canadian County, so they have access to all of Canadian County and into the western parts of Oklahoma City.
Yukon youth football used to be a part of the Central Oklahoma Football League but Reed said he believes this transition will be great for Miller football.
“This could be something we point to 10 years from now and say, ‘that’s where it started’”, Reed said. “It will be a learning experience in the first year but I believe this will benefit Yukon football in a big way down the road.”
Yukon football released this statement on joining the Indian Nations Football Conference:
“Yukon football is proud to partner with the youth of Yukon to assist in fostering the next generation of Miller football players. This league will be vertically aligned with the school football program to build a consistent culture, community and terminology for youth football players to better prepare them for seventh grade football. Coaches in this league will be working closely with the high school coaches to give youth football players the best experience possible. Several special opportunities will come from this, including involvement with high school players and youth teams. If interested in joining the league, contact Logan Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-4227.”
Yukon Football Day Camp set for June 18
Yukon’s first full day football camp will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 18-21. First through eighth graders will be coached by the high school football staff and high school players.
Campers will go through offensive and defensive drills, character development, film study, combine style-testing, etc.
To sign up for the camp, go to .https://campscui.com/orgs/YukonQuarterbackClub?orglink=camps-registration–